Extremely expensive and experimental approach
18th Mar 11 ->
My father had a heart attack on 18th of Mar 2011 and he was admitted to a hospital in my city but doctors there referred us to Medanta, Gurgaon, telling us that patient is in bad condition and requires advance medical care(I later realized that referring docs do have there own cut). We finally reached Medanta by Air on 9th of Aril 11.Thanks to very helpful Indigo staff(We had one failed flying attempt and we had to go back from air port).
9th April 11->
We were referred to Medanta's Dr Praveen Chandra by our city doctor. Father was moved to Triage in Medanta for initial investigation and then moved to Heart command Center(HCC). 9th April being weekend(Saturday), no senior doctors were present and doctors on duty decided to a put balloon in his heart to support it. We were asked to deposit INR 50, 000, which we promptly did. Balloon(costing 50k) was inserted in heart and we were told that you can meet the patient twice a day 12 to 12:15 & 7 to 7:15. So the wait on the chair began.
12th April 11->
Dr Chandra came in on Monday and examined the patient and decided that angiography will be scheduled soon. Next day(12th April Tuesday) patient was kept hungry since morning for Angiography. My father started complaining about thirst and hunger, and when I asked the nurse about when he is suppose to go for Angiography, we were told that Cath lab will give us a call .I waited for sometime but the same answer. I spoke to Doctor on duty got the same reply. I insisted for either the water or a Call to cath lab. They hesitantly called cath lab to realize that my father's name isn’t in today's list. I was furious but kept my cool. Duty doctor immediately spoke Dr Chandra/Assistant and he was listed. He was moved to Cath lab after few hours. We waited and finally after long wait Dr Chandra spoke to us. He said that there is blockage in arteries and would require two stents. "Package" Cost mentioned was 2.5L for German and 3.5L for American. We discussed it within family and obviously opted for American in the hope that it was better and more proven. I also enquired any other option and if open heart is an option and Dr Chandra flatly said "NO", e dont have any toher option. We were asked to deposit the Money which we did and Dr Chandra did the angioplasty that day. After payment, I reached the limit of our Bank balance, credit card and paid leaves.
23rd April 11->
He was kept in HCC for some more days(actually 11 days) and were finally shifted to General room on 23rd April(Saturday evening), unfortunately a weekend. Bill till this day was INR 5, 60, 000.Junior doctors and DOD were openly opposing the decision to move him to general room but it was Dr Chandra's decision.We were happy that atlast things are getting better and we can be with him and take care of him.My father was not at all happy with the staff in HCC.One attendant was allowed to be with patient so I was with him.He spoke and ate normally but by 10 PM started complaining about light breathlesness.I prompty informed nurse and insisted for a doctor to see him. A doctor came(looked like an intern) and said everything was normal. I asked him if he knew the patient history which he didnt. I explained him and then he suggested the nurse that if this continues, use lysix.The breathlesness was getting worse even after two injections then I realised that these doctors cant handle it and asked to be moved to HCC.He was having another heart attack for sure.
In heart command center at around 4am, doctors were insisting my father to allow them to use ventilator pressure mask which probably is very painfull/unpleasant.Father was resisting it. Doctors told me that he might get tired breathing at this rate and can collapse.They will have to sedate and ventialte him.I had no option but to say yes.Father was ventilated and sedated and remained so for 4 days and also a new baloon was inserted in heart.He took around 24-36 hours to become normal, but now he was a very different man, probably angry, afraid and a little disoriented.Doctor assured me that it is usual in ICU.One attendant was allowed in HCC now.MRI was normal and neurosergeon said Patient was OK.Dr Chandra told me that we might need to do open heart surgery for leaking valve! I was speaking to him very politely till now but did ask that why did he say that open heart was not an option earlier to which he said condition of patient changes and hence the treatment(Couldnt stop my tears of anger and possible pain my father will be in).
3rd May 11 ->
We met Dr Trehan next day(3rd May) after long wait 4hrs the previous day and then 4 more hours the next days after unending requests(pleading to be honest) and wait for test reports. It was a superfast meeting and he spoke in chaste Hindi that this will be a high risk operation and you have 50-50 chance of survival if operated and 100% chance of dying if not operated. I didn’t know what to ask and all I could say was what kind of expense we are looking at. Got a finance department guy's name to talk to. This finance team has been haunting me every time the bill balance exceeded beyond 30-40k, and once they even sent request to stop treatment when I said I will pay tomorrow after my Salary. I had to borrow and pay immediately to continue the treatment! Any way the guy there Vijay and two girls are possibly the rudest people I have ever known. Possibly some Finance Management strategy which I cant understand(Talking to rude people is extremely difficult when your heart is already heavy).Vijay asked me clear the current balance+ deposit the package cost 4, 50, 000 by end of the day to be in the 4th May operation list at 6PM of 3rd May. He said that this is the policy and he can’t do anything and can talk to doctor.
By the time I reached Dr Trehan's cabin he had left for the day. There was his assistant Mr Sehgal whom I requested that I dnt have all the money right away and is it ok if I pay remaining 1.5L by tomorrow. NEFT doesn’t work at night and Cards have daily limit you know. He said you deposit whatever you have got and we will "see". I did that and then he was nowhere to be found. Tried calling on few numbers I got from reception and finally got Mr Sehgal. He didn’t even remember me and was possibly drunk and said come tomorrow and we will "see". I discussed it with friends and family and decided to pay everything by borrowing in family and friends. My Card's limit was reached and 35k was yet to be paid.Around 11pm I got a call for the balance of 35k and I informed that I have already paid 5.3L and I would swipe rest of 35k after midnight. In the morning I got to know father was to be operated first at 6:30AM but slid to last to be operated due to the balance 35k.Anyway, my father was operated on 4th of May 11 at around 4 PM and then moved to ICU.
10th May 11->
He remains on and off ventilator till today and now his health is getting from bad to worse. He now has kidney problem(dialysis is going on), infection(TLC count 28k), a pipe is attached from his throat directly to ventilator, blood transfusion is going on. At least 5 other pipes are going into his body with several other needle punctures. This all looks extremely excruciating and mind numbing. Some one who was eating, talking, sitting, walking a few steps, non-diabetic when we came to the hospital is now nothing more than a living body after one month and Rs15, 00, 000. Thank you Medanta - The Medicity.